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By Mark Bell | January 9, 2013

Young Maude (Deirdre McCourt) wanders down to the basement of her house, where the family’s gym equipment is set up. Alone, she turns on some music and begins dancing around. As the music plays, we get both the objective view of her dancing alone and her own imagination’s perspective, where she is dancing amongst her friends.

Jeremy Jed Hammel’s short film Maude has more in common with a music video than it does a traditional short. Which is to say that very little happens beyond Maude dancing around to the background music. On the plus side, it captures the vibrant energy and innocence of youth. There’s something to be said for someone who follows the old advice of “dance like no one is watching” (even if she appears to be dancing, with and to the camera).

On the other hand, even at only seven minutes, the short is far too long. Maybe at two to three minutes, you’d connect with the energy of the piece and, while it would likely resemble a music video even more, it wouldn’t wear out its welcome. I mean, the film opens with roughly a minute of slow-crawl credits that don’t do the pacing or energy any favors, and even wraps up with another roughly minute long credit crawl.

So, really, we’re looking at five minutes of actual content, but even that is too much; when it does get rolling along, it just keeps going long after its charm has wore off. It goes on long enough that, considering the content, it leaves you expecting something more to it. When nothing more actually occurs, and the music noticeably, and awkwardly, loops to pad out the space, it becomes that much more disappointing.

Overall, Maude captures a moment of jubilation in a young girl’s life, but it lingers too much. With no other story or narrative to hold on to beyond “girl dances to music,” it doesn’t endear so much as become something to endure.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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